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Londonderry budget committee member seeks Town Council seat

Union Leader Correspondent

February 18. 2014 8:06PM

LONDONDERRY — A former Eagle Scout who now chairs the town’s budget committee is running in the upcoming Town Council race.

Christopher Melcher, a 30-year resident and graduate of Londonderry High School who is wrapping up his current three-year-term on the budget committee, said he decided to seek a council seat due to recent concerns over public safety, particularly fire and police department staffing.

“We must ensure that there are 10 fire personnel staffed on each shift,” Melcher said this week.

As developers for the pending Woodmont Commons project prepare to build the site’s initial access road in the coming two years, Melcher said another top priority of his would be to “ensure the development agreement is strictly enforced.”

“Additionally, we need to figure out how to retain our residents,” Melcher added. “People are moving out of our town and state at increasing rates. Our new graduates are leaving for college and not looking back.”

Citing those concerns, Melcher said the town’s priorities should center around affordable housing options and the creation of local jobs.

“We have several large developments coming and continue to have discussions on bringing large businesses to the airport and Pettengill Road area,” Melcher said. “There are major decision coming in regards to all of these areas. We must continue to increase the tax base so that residential taxes can be level-funded or even decreased.”

Melcher said his years on the budget committee have given him insights into how the local government operates.

“I’ve learned all about the town’s financial system and have also been able to interact with all the department heads and staff,” he said. “So I’d say I’m very well-prepared to jump into the councilor role on day one.”

The Londonderry Town Council has two vacancies for the coming term, with the terms of acting councilors Joe Green and Tom Freda both set to expire.

Both Green and Freda have filed for re-election.

The school board also has two vacancies coming up, with Chairman Nancy Hendrick’s term expiring along with John Robinson’s. Robinson announced late last month that he wouldn’t be seeking another term on the school board, opting instead to run for Town Council.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the “Chris Melcher — Town Council 2014” Facebook page had 55 “likes.”

Voting on all town and school positions will take place Tuesday, March 11, at Londonderry High School.

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